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Pru Chapman
OC Founder + Head Hustler

Pru Chapman is the Founder + Head Hustler at Owners Collective, a dedicated digital community and global online resource hub for early-stage entrepreneurs. Pru gets giddy supporting business owners to create meaningful, sustainable + profitable business. She loves nothing more than bulletproof coffee, her pooch Maverick, andd an empty mountain hiking trail.

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Want to know the secret to scaling your business and keeping your sanity?

A powerful CRM.

CRM stands for “customer relationship management” system, and it helps you nurture and grow your relationships with every single human you interact within your business.

How does this help you grow?

With a CRM set up in the background, you can have more than one conversation at once. 

So instead of nurturing one potential client at once, you can be nurturing 1000 potential clients at once. No extra work required. 

Get it right and it is a game-changer for your business. 

Skip it, and you’re absolutely putting a limit on your growth. 

But not all CRM’s are made equal…..

So to get the latest low-down on the best CRM’s, I interviewed Kiah Worling, a digital thought-leader and productivity adviser whose mission is to better the lives of others through the smart use of technology.

 

Here’s what we cover:

 

  • WTF is a CRM
  • Why it should be one of the very first tools you turn on in your business
  • The top 5 things a CRM can help you do
  • The 5 main things to look for in a CRM
  • Kiah’s go-to CRMs for product and service-based businesses (and their greatest superpowers)

 

Links and resources:

 

  • To find out more about Kiah head to her website here
  • Connect with Kiah on LinkedIn here
  • Follow Kiah on Instagram here
  • Be sure that you’re subscribed on Apple Podcasts or Spotify so you don’t miss an episode!
  • If you’re keen for more head over to my other podcast One Wild Ride for a listen
  • Ready to launch & leverage your own gig? Download my free guide to starting and scaling your business over at theownerscollective.com/startandscale

 

Enjoy this episode?

 

Be sure to be subscribed on Apple Podcasts or if you’re an Android user you can follow on Spotify. While you’re there, I’d LOVE you to drop me a rating and review, as is helps get this podcast into the ears of more fine folks like you.

Full Transcript

Pru:

Hey, Kiah. Welcome to the show.

Kiah Worling:

Hey, Pru. Thanks for having me.

Pru:

I’m really excited you’re here because we are going to be talking about something really important today, which is the secret to scaling your business and keeping your sanity, which we both know is having a powerful CRM.

Pru:

Now what I absolutely love about your approach, Kiah, is that you really try and keep tech simple for busy business owners because I know that it can be super overwhelming, and really, so that they can focus on the important stuff and allow the tech to support them, really. And I’m so passionate about CRMs, because for me, I know that when I moved out of one-on-one coaching and into a more leveraged one-to-many kind of model, it was only through learning how to use tech and using the tech smart that enabled me to do that. And having a great CRM was really at the heart of doing that. So for all our listeners, what that allowed me to do was to have a conversation with more than one person at once, and to nurture all those really great relationships that I was building. So I’m very passionate about CRMs. I truly do believe that they are the secret to scaling your business. So before we dive in, Kiah, I would love if you could give our listeners just a little intro to who you are and what you do.

Kiah Worling:

Oh, wow. Well, intro about me. So I, I guess, am a bit of an uber-geek at heart and like you, Pru, I just love that tech enables us to scale our businesses and create businesses that are sustainable. So I guess my mission is to help others improve their lives through leveraging what technology has to offer us, being able to put some stuff on autopilot so we do have time to kick back and relax in our business and really, just help businesses navigate the tech maze. Because it can be overwhelming, as you said, so that’s what I do.

Pru:

Awesome. And you’re absolutely right, I think it can be really overwhelming and also because there are so many tech systems and tech platforms out there. But I think we’d both agree that there’s only a few that are absolutely mission critical and a CRM is definitely one of those. So for our listeners and to share the love here, do you want to tell our listeners what on earth a CRM is?

Kiah Worling:

Yeah, this is a great question. I’m with you, I think it sits at the heart of the business and for lots of people it’s like, “What is that? What does that even mean?” So it stands for Customer Relationship Management system and I love that because it really does come down to how you’re having relationships with all the humans that you interact with in your business. It’s kind of a mouthful and it makes it sound like hard work, but it’s not. It’s something, when it’s done right, it’s actually awesome because you’re essentially just having a party with all your people inside your CRM and it helps you to nurture and grow your relationships with everybody. So yeah, Customer Relationship Management system.

Pru:

Absolutely. It’s really interesting. I was going for a walk up at the Byron lighthouse the other day and I managed to run into a friend. She was like, “Oh, I got your email today.” And I was like, “Oh, I didn’t send you an email,” but my CRM did because she’d opted into something. And this is exactly what I’m talking about. Here I was, walking the lighthouse. It was a Friday afternoon, enjoying the sunshine and my CRM was working in the backend for me, actually nurturing that relationship and delivering her the information that she had requested. So the power of that, I mean, for a lot of our listeners here, they might be early stage entrepreneurs, but even when you really established in business, having this really solid CRM sitting behind you that is nurturing and really powering up those relationships, I mean, it can build scale exponentially.

Pru:

So I know for me, when I first started doing my online programs, I had an email list of 200 people. I think it was a bit less than 200 and it had all of my aunties and uncles on it. And just by implementing that and putting some clever systems around it, it just grew so quickly so that now with Owners Collective, we can send up to 40,000 emails a month and I only write those emails once. This is the power of a CRM, so that when I am walking the lighthouse, those relationships are being nurtured. So I’d love to hear from you, Kiah. Why should this be one of the very first tools that people look at in their business?

Kiah Worling:

Yeah. So I love the aunties and uncles story because I think everyone can relate when they’re starting the email list. They’re like, “Oh, my parents would like to be on this. Let’s just get the word out to anyone.” And I think that really does speak volumes about what a CRM can do because essentially, those people who sit in your CRM go on to become advocates for you, if not your customers. So I think this is the part that people underestimate in terms of getting every single person that you can in there. And we’re not talking about spamming people, are we? We want to send out content that’s really high value, engaging, entertaining, precisely what they’ve asked for.

Kiah Worling:

And I guess the sooner you can do it in your business, the better, because trying to dig back through lists of customers and spreadsheets, and in your phone, you’ll have them all over the place, it’s a very tricky thing to backtrack on. So the sooner you have it in the business, the better habit you’re going to get into of making sure that people are going in there and that you’re able to get used to using the platform. I mean, we’re talking, in its rawest form, getting somebody’s first name and email address, and just getting into a really good habit of that happening.

Kiah Worling:

A lot of people have subscribe forms on their website that aren’t really connecting through to lists very effectively. So the sooner you can get all those dots joined, the sooner you can nurture the people who were in there and the sooner those people are going to advocate for you as well. So yeah, look, the sooner, the better, a hundred percent. And above and beyond everything else, your humans and your customers are why you exist, so it makes sense that one of the very first tools in your business is one that has all your people in it.

Pru:

Absolutely. And one thing that I like to say to people as well, a lot of people that come especially through our programs, is begin with the end in mind. So if you love being in your craft, just say you’re a copywriter, and you just want to be a one woman show for the rest of time, then maybe you don’t need a CRM. But if you’re looking to actually grow your business, to bring on staff, to be working with more than one client at a time, this is where CRM is really going to pay for itself. And getting it set up in the start, I couldn’t agree more because I think the busier you get as well, the more urgent things need to be done and the less amount of time we spend on actually getting the important things done.

Pru:

So you’ve already got that subscribe form on your website, so to be capturing that information and actually doing something with it, I mean, like I said, you can write that email once and then it can just nurture everyone that ever ops into that email capture on your website. So the power is absolutely huge. And I think a lot of early stage entrepreneurs, they balk because you have to pay for a CRM. So they think, “Oh, am I ready for it? Am I not ready for it?” But particularly if you have a higher price point product or service, you might be nurturing a lead for, it might be a day, it might be a week, it might be a month, it might be a few years before someone buys from you.

Pru:

Now if they’ve opted into your website and never heard from you again, are they likely to buy from you? Probably not. If they’ve opted in and then they’ve received an automated email sequence that follows it up that gives them all that juicy information that you were talking about, Kiah, and really builds that know you, like you, trust you factor, then in a months time they might buy or in a year’s time or in five years time. So it’s really incredible, the power, when it is set up early, isn’t it?

Kiah Worling:

Oh, yeah. And it is an investment when you pay for it early, but the platform, I mean, in terms of what they will return to you over time, it’s so worth it. And I know for myself, I’ve got quite a long tail on when people will first download 52 Tech Tips and have a look at that. I would say most people, it’s a six to 12 month thing before they really come back and we work together and some people, of course, heaps sooner. But if I didn’t have that turned up 12 months ago, like you said, I wouldn’t have those people who are my gorgeous clients today, and they really did start by entering into my CRM.

Kiah Worling:

And I would also say if you are somebody who over time really wants to delight your customers and not just give an average customer experience, but actually genuinely delight your customers, you going to want to have that turned on from the beginning, because what you can achieve one to one, human to human and personally through having a CRM is above and beyond anything else. And that investment is so worth it. Yeah.

Pru:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). And I think we’re all looking at working smarter, not harder. I think that just should be everyone’s motto in business. I know it sounds really cliche, but it really is true. We do want to be working smarter, not harder, and a CRM is doing that work for you. So we’ve had a few awesome people on the podcast already and I know that one of the guests that really appealed to everyone was Steph Taylor when she was talking about building online products and the power of building online products. Well, the way that she’s able to do that is by having a really powerful CRM, capturing everyone’s information in the backend. And then really, this is putting fuel on the fire. Like you say, nurturing them, know, like and trust you, and delighting your people along the way, it’s the CRM that’s driving everything there.

Kiah Worling:

Completely. And I think if we look at Steph and what she spoke about with the success of some of her products, you would literally lose your sanity if you had to manually respond to every email, manually create every login for your digital product. You would drown and your profitability would not be there. So the way that it allows you to scale and sustain at the same time as keeping your mind, you literally can’t achieve it without a CRM.

Pru:

Yeah, totally. Okay, so let’s get into the nitty gritty here, Kiah. So what are the top things that a CRM can help you do?

Kiah Worling:

Yeah. Well, I’ve already mentioned you can put all your favorite humans in one spot. So like I said, just to think of it as the party house, that’s where everyone’s going into. We’ve also hinted at this, so nailing your email marketing. And I mean, we can really dive deep into email marketing. We’ve probably not got time to go there today, but the way it allows you to set up automations. If somebody wants this, then deliver that, some of those are behavior flows that you can get going. If somebody puts something into their cart and then abandons it, that sort of stuff can sit there on autopilot so you don’t need to be doing it yourself. You can develop really personalized experiences, we talked about that. Delighting your customers, and that goes above and beyond what necessarily is an email.

Kiah Worling:

So what some people may not necessarily understand is that a Customer Relationship Management system is so much more than purely an email marketing platform. And so, being able to layer in experiences that are offline and online, keeping notes about your clients’ children’s names or dogs’ names, or all of these things that we get to know about the people, what their favorite coffee that they’re going to have so that when they arrive to have a coffee with you, you’ve got that one in particular waiting. I mean, it’s all of those nuances that really help our clients understand that we know them and we like them and we trust them. We return serve on that. So I think that personalized experience is there.

Kiah Worling:

Managing your sales pipeline. So this is a big one. I think having jotted down on a piece of paper, on a spreadsheet what cash could come next or is coming next doesn’t quite cut it. So being able to manage your sales pipeline inside of a CRM is incredibly helpful. And then being able to extend that capability to join the dots with a platform like Xero. You know that accounting platform? It’s so helpful. And of course, putting repetitive tasks on autopilot so we’re not having to do those. We can offload those repetitive tasks to the robots and free ourselves up for other, more important, meaningful work or even time off. Yeah. So I would say they’re five ways a CRM can help you.

Pru:

Wow. It’s pretty incredible, isn’t it? So I’m just going to recap those for everyone listening because I’m sure everyone’s madly scribbling. So it puts all of your favorite humans in one spot, I love that it’s the party place. It can help you nail your email marketing, it can develop and deliver a highly personalized experience, it helps you manage your sales pipeline and it automates the repetitive tasks. And I think for anyone listening, if you find yourself doing the same thing, two, three, four, five times, you need to be looking at that and say, “All right, how can I automate this?” So whether that is from nurturing a new client lead or it might be onboarding. Once someone has signed on the dotted line, or clicked accept rather, that you’re onboarding them. And the onboarding experience is probably the same for everyone.

Pru:

And so, if you’re doing it once and doing it really well in an automated fashion, you can deliver such an incredible onboarding experience that you just couldn’t do if you were trying to do it individually with 10 clients, 100 clients, 1,000 clients. It would just be impossible. But doing it once and having an automated, I think that’s one of the most powerful things that a business can do is have a really thorough onboarding procedure. So I think that’s a really important one that people kind of forget, but should be paying a lot more attention to.

Kiah Worling:

Yeah, absolutely. Love it.

Pru:

So Kiah, I love CRMs. It’s kind of ridiculous. And what I love about them, I mean, it’s not necessarily that I love the CRM, I just love what they can do for businesses. I look at the back end of a lot of businesses and when I’m tracking their growth, it’s like when they put in a proper CRM, a sales funnel in place, then that’s when the exponential growth happens. So that’s why I’ve got you on here because I’m so glad that we’re talking about it. It’s just so powerful, guys. So Kiah, what are the five things that you would look for in a CRM? Because there are a few out there on the market and I think people do become a little bit overwhelmed by what’s out there, so what should people be paying attention to when they’re thinking about it?

Kiah Worling:

Yeah. I think the overwhelm comes from a lot of promises from the different platforms that they’re going to be the be all and end all, and I think not all of them are the be all and end all. So whenever I’m looking for the platforms, I’ve got five things that I’m really looking at. So obviously, it has the features you need. So if you’re just getting started, then I would say the features you’re looking for, obviously being able to put your contacts in, but every CRM will allow you to do that. Being able to automate your marketing at least, so your email marketing, but even better if it allows you to automate your internal workflows and tasks as well. So you definitely want to be looking for those features at a bare minimum.

Kiah Worling:

It needs to be easy to use. So if you are trialing, because there’s obviously free trials left, right and center and I think this is where people, they dive in and they’re like, “Oh, I’ve got to get out of here. I don’t quite know how to use it.” But if it is easy to use and you’re finding the screen easy to navigate, then longterm, it’s going to give you a much better experience of the platform. So it needs to have the features you need, it needs to be easy to use and it needs to give you the most bang for your buck, right?

Kiah Worling:

So they all price slightly differently and this also can be a bit like comparing private health insurance where you’re like, “I don’t know. What am I doing?” So you want to know for sure why you’re using it and what you’re going to use it for, so that you can make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Going beyond that, once you sign up and you’re using it, I really look for the platforms that have support that’s genuinely helpful, that’s actually helpful and you’ll not end up in a two, three, four day queue to get a ticketed reply that’s automated and you’re banging your head against your computer thinking, “I just want to solve this and I can’t.”

Kiah Worling:

So look for things like, does it have live chat? What is their response time? Test them out and ask questions while you’re in the trial mode so that you can find out if the support’s helpful. What are their video tutorials or document libraries, or things like that look like? Because if you’re going to be using this platform every day that you’re in business, which you will if you’re using your CRM well, you’ll be in and out of there all the time, you want to know that you can quickly ask a question and get the help back that you need.

Kiah Worling:

And then, the last thing that I’m looking for is how nicely it plays with others. So there’s nothing worse than having a platform that does all these great things, but it doesn’t connect to any other platform because all of a sudden you’re having to manually join the dots and that’s not fun. So I always look at, is this able to be integrated? Which is the tech word for it, but is it playing nicely with others? Can I pass the data okay? Can I get the information in and out that I need in a way that means that I can automate above and beyond just this platform, but join all of my platforms together? Yeah.

Pru:

Wow, they are some incredible tips. I’m going to run through them again, just because they’re such gold, Kiah. I love this. And I love that you shoot it straight down the line as well, because this is just, when people are looking at CRMs, you don’t think about this. But I think you’ve really nailed it when you said start off by does it actually have the features you need? So before you jump online, for all our listeners, is maybe actually get pen to paper and just write down what do you actually want this system to do for you? And start there and then go out and look at the systems. Rather than them telling you what you need, have a little internal investigation about what do you want it to be doing? And then allow yourself to be wowed by what else it does, but make sure it does the core essentials.

Pru:

Being easy to use, and I think easy to use and easy to look at come in the same vein as well. So I do love it when tech systems do put some really good consideration to usability because like you said, Kiah, you’re going to be in and out of there multiple times every single day, so you want it to be a platform that you’d like being in. Make sure you get the most bang for your buck was number three. Number four, really important, make sure that it does offer the support which is actually helpful, and I know that we’re going to talk about one of our favorite CRMs here, which does some really great support. And then, make sure that it plays nicely with others. And again, if you’re building in that scale into your business, you’re going to be probably needing to put together a few different tech systems, so making sure that they speak to each other nicely and easily, and that you can do that integration and not have to get a web developer to do it for you, also super important.

Pru:

So guys, if you didn’t write those down, I absolutely would if I was you. So Kiah, I guess now for the big money question here is what are your favorite CRMs? And what are their greatest superpowers?

Kiah Worling:

Yeah. Well, let me share with you the one that you just alluded to, which has the super local support. So most platforms have their offices overseas, but this one actually has an office right here in Australia. So the Aussies are answering your calls, you’re paying in Australian dollars. That’s really nice for cash flow management because you can actually predict how much it’s going to cost you per month, whereas a lot of platforms are in US dollars and you’ll get a surprise bill each month depending on exchange rates. And they also do, when we can, do in real life training days. They do do them. So maybe not during COVID craziness, but you get my drift. So that one is for service based businesses and it’s Active Campaign.

Pru:

I love Active Campaign and I feel like Active Campaign, I don’t actually know how long it’s been around for, but it definitely has shown its shining colors probably in the last two years, I would say. And I just feel like, and Kiah, you totally can correct me on that, but I feel like there was quite a few CRMs that came out and then Active Campaign just took the best of all of them, were like, “Here we are. Ready to go.”

Kiah Worling:

Yeah. I agree with that. And I actually see now that some of those platforms didn’t necessarily evolve themselves, so now they’re copying Active Campaign to try and catch up. There’s always this funny toggle that goes on between different platforms. But look, Active Campaign is also, their light plan, if you’re just starting in business or in the early stages, their light plan packs so much punch with automation. The way that you can list manage in there is second to none. And the way that it plays with others is, I mean, it’s just part of their modus operandi that they want to get along with everybody. And that may appeal to the person in me. I’m kind of the same, so maybe it’s a personality match, but they just want to get along with everyone and that makes your life so much easier as a business owner.

Kiah Worling:

I literally use Active Campaign from straight out of my G Suite inbox because the integration is there, so I’m not having to jump around. I’ve got it in my phone if I am out and I’m meeting people and I need to quickly pop in their contact details. So it really does make it very easy for you to keep all of your humans in one spot. And then, the power that it packs for its automations is just great. It’s also got a really good drag and drop email builder. So that makes it super user friendly for people to build their own emails. So yeah, it’s a good one. If you’re in service-based business, that’s definitely my pick.

Pru:

Yeah, awesome. And I might just jump in here as well because a lot of people might be still using MailChimp as their email service provider, which I think MailChimp can be a nice place to start, but as we alluded to earlier, when you really do want to grow and scale your business, you’re probably going to need something a bit more sophisticated, and while MailChimp will do your email marketing, it’s not good at keeping your humans in one place and their details there. So if you are using MailChimp, you’re probably there because you do like the drag and drop function of the email templates and they do look really great and Active Campaign has that same feature, plus just has so much more power behind organizing your humans and adding in all of those details and is much more sophisticated in what it can do.

Pru:

So if you are still on MailChimp, then I would definitely recommend going over to Active Campaign and having a think about what additionally can this offer me? And how can it support the growth of my business where MailChimp might be lacking a little bit? So that was for service-based businesses, Kiah. Active Campaign, guys, go check it out, don’t get past there. I feel like we both should be on commission here. What do you recommend for eCommerce businesses? Because they’ve got some additional bits and pieces that they need.

Kiah Worling:

Yeah, they do have that. And obviously, the eCommerce layer brings with it things like win back strategies and abandoned carts and all sorts of things. And there’s some real smarts… So Klaviyo has some awesome, out of the box smarts that you literally can plug and play for product specific flows, upsells, cross-sells, other engagement segments. I personally can’t go past Klaviyo, so if you haven’t seen that and you are a pure eComm business, you definitely want to check it out. And its integration with the likes of Shopify, for example, I mean, they’re literally in bed with each other, for lack of a better way of describing it. So certainly not owned by each other, but definitely get along very closely. So yeah, Klaviyo has my vote for pure eComm.

Pru:

Love it. And is Klaviyo newer on the scene?

Kiah Worling:

I feel like they really found their legs when MailChimp and Shopify broke up last year. So it’s possible that they were lurking around before that. But at the moment that the integration between Shopify and MailChimp became really tricky Klaviyo really emerged. So I’m not exactly sure when they started, but I know that that’s when they’ve come into their stride.

Pru:

Yeah, exactly, because I’ve heard it mentioned quite a lot even, I mean, in the last six months. It’s like Klaviyo, Klaviyo for the product-based businesses, which I think is awesome because product-based businesses, they do really have a unique set of challenges and also a really unique set of opportunities. And I think everyone who’s listening, you know when you have a really great eComm experience. Whether you’ve abandoned something in a car or whether you’ve bought something, there’s a lot that can be done after someone is on the website that is really exponentially going to increase your sales. So Klaviyo is an awesome check-out there.

Pru:

Oh, Kiah, this has been packed with goodness. So I just want to give our listeners a little recap because you and I do talk at the speed of light. So I do want to do a little recap before I’m going to ask you how people can reach out and connect because you are, like I said, what I love so much about you is that you utilize tech, but it sits behind actually giving busy business owners their lives back. So it does support the scale and the sanity, and I think that that’s the important one.

Pru:

So guys, we covered off on what a CRM actually is, and that is a Customer Relationship Management system, so knowing it keeps all of your humans in one place and it can be really powerful to do a bunch of things, particularly email marketing. It should definitely be one of the first things that you turn on in your business just so that it is a fundamental system that should be there from the start right through to, well, hopefully not the finish, but it’s going to support you all the way along, whether you’ve got one person on your email list or a hundred thousand.

Pru:

The key things that it can do is, like we said, keep all your favorite humans in one spot, nail your email marketing, deliver amazing and highly personalized experience, building that know you, like you, trust you factor and really wowing people, managing your sales pipeline, automating those repetitive tasks. And then, we covered off as well on what are the main things you should look for. So making sure that the CRM actually has the features that you need, that it’s easy to use, that it gives you a bunch of bang for your buck. It offers you incredible support and that it plays nicely with others.

Pru:

So there we go, guys, CRMs debunked by the fabulous Kiah Worling for you. Kiah, if people do need help with this kind of thing, how can they connect? Because I mean, as great as some of the support options are, it does really need to be considered in your larger tech ecosystem. So what’s the best way for people to get in touch with you?

Kiah Worling:

Yeah. Well, I’m always keen for people to do a stalk first. So if they want to check out my Instagram handle, it’s @kiahworling. And you can always go and do a snoop on my website, which is kiahworling.com. There’s a 52 tech tips guide there, they can download and get to know whether they feel like I’m a good fit. But otherwise, just book in a 15 minute call, we’ll have a chat and I’m sure that I can help you get started with everything tech in your business.

Pru:

Awesome. Kiah, Thank you so much for joining me, it is an absolute treat. And listeners, I would encourage you, if you do want to know more from Kiah, more from tech, you can either reach out to her or come and hit me up and we might be able to get her back in the future because she is our go-to gal for all things tech. So Kiah, thank you so much again, it has been awesome.

Kiah Worling:

And it’s my pleasure. Thanks, Pru.

 

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